Archive for January, 2010

Here comes the hawk

Hawk visitor 1

A hawk decided to visit our pond today – I wasn’t home, but a neighbor alerted The Spouse, who took some pictures.

Hawk prepares for a bath

Apparently, it wasn’t hunting, but rather looking for a bath in the pond.

Bathing hawk

Any birdwatchers out there able to ID this from these photos?

Midwinter thaw

Winter pond visitors

It’s been cold & snowy here, just like most of the US and Europe, thanks to the North Atlantic Oscillation. There’s not a lot of open water in our urban neighborhood even when it’s not covered in snow and ice, so the pond waterfall and deicer bring in critter visitors.  The birdfeeder has also had lots of customers, but the squirrels continue to be frustrated by our use of hot bird seed.

Fortunately, the NAO is going back to more normal values, and we’re now above freezing for the first time in 20 days.  Spring seems a long ways away, but I am halfway between my usual last Bloom Day post of the year (mid-November) and my first (mid-March).  I can’t wait to see if the snowdrops I planted a couple of months ago come up even before that!

OneSeedChicago – vote now!

One Seed ChicagoThe annual voting for OneSeedChicago is now underway, and this year’s contenders are all native plants.  Vote for your favorite at and you’ll get a packet of the winner in April!

I voted for the nodding onion, one of my favorite rain garden plants.  The other two contenders are purple coneflower and bee balm, both fantastic plants for the Chicago area.  Vote now!